Ambassador Dr Brendon Hammer
Australian Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna
9th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
Australian National Statement
15 October 2018
Transnational organised crime undermines
- global prosperity and security,
- fuels corruption,
- inhibits economic development,
- and impedes good governance.
Australia is committed to work with the international community to do all we can to combat such crime.
And we see the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols as absolutely vital to this effort.
An effective Implementation Review Mechanism will be an invaluable tool in assisting states to improve their capacity to prevent and combat transnational organised crime.
Accordingly, Australia very much appreciates this opportunity to thank the Italian and Costa Rican Ambassadors for their outstanding efforts in developing the proposal currently under consideration.
We look forward to working with other States Parties to reach consensus on this basis.
Since the last conference, Australia has taken significant steps to strengthen our response to trafficking in persons, one of the most insidious forms of transnational organised crime, and one which disproportionately affects women and girls.
On Wednesday, Australia will talk about these steps at a UK-hosted side event, entitled Tackling emerging trends in modern slavery and human trafficking.
All delegations are cordially invited to attend.
Australia believes collaboration between Governments, Business and Civil Society is key to combating trafficking and other forms of transnational organised crime.
So – this week – our national Parliament will consider legislation to require large businesses in Australia to publicly report what they are doing to combat trafficking and other forms of modern slavery in their supply chains.
And in a world first, this reporting requirement will also apply to Australian government procurement.
Australia was also pleased to join with the UK, US, Canada and New Zealand at last month’s UNGA leaders week to launch a set of principles to guide government action to combat human trafficking in supply chains.
These are just some of Australia’s initiatives in this area.
In our Indo-Pacific region, we co-chair with Indonesia the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime.
This process develops and enables a range of regional initiatives.
For example, the Bali Process is working with Indo-Pacific countries to develop a best-practice policy guide for practitioners on using financial investigation tools in trafficking in persons cases.
In just one example at the global level, Australia has joined with Liechtenstein to launch the Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.
This commission will develop a strategic plan to strengthen the role of the global financial sector in fighting modern slavery and human trafficking.
It is important that we continue to use UNTOC to fight all forms of transnational organised crime – both established and emerging.
International illegal wildlife trafficking is valued at up to $23 billion per year, and is a serious and growing problem around the world.
UNTOC can serve as the basis for international cooperation to combat wildlife trafficking, as well as the money laundering and other offences that facilitate it.
Australia reiterates our earlier calls for all States Parties to ensure that illicit trafficking in wildlife products and the illegal exploitation of wild flora and fauna is criminalised under national laws as a ‘serious crime’, with a penalty of up to four years’ imprisonment.
Cybercrime is also a growing – and rapidly evolving – global threat.
Law enforcement agencies are trying to adapt and respond, but international and operational cooperation must be intensified to enable a sufficient level of response.
Australia remains committed to the fight.
We are investing $30 million over 4 years in our region to improve cyber resilience and
We are particularly focused on strengthening regional capacity to prosecute, disrupt and investigate cybercrime.
The challenges posed by transnational organised crime are daunting, but with effective cooperative and collaborative action by governments, business and civil society, we can – as an international community - successfully combat this scourge.
The Australian delegation looks forward to working with you, States Parties and other participants this week to get us all closer to this success.